Mr. Netayahu’s decision to free all 104 pre-Oslo prisoners has certainly created quite a stir in those circles where such news must come as a very unwelcome shock indeed.
Why has he taken this course of action?
Is it the lesser of three evils, the other two being ’67 borders and the right of return?
Is he gambling on the talks not starting in earnest or breaking down before any releases can be processed?
Is it a PR exercise to contrast Israeli flexibility with Palestinian intransigence?
Is it a genuine attempt to get negotiations off to the best start possible in the hope that further discussion will yield results far better than those obtained in previous get-togethers?
Whatever it is, it is undoubtedly a calculated risk of the highest order and, if only in that context alone, it must command the grudging respect of all those opposed to it.
But if such calculated risk-taking has suddenly become the driving force behind Israel’s current political thinking, then why not go the whole hog, escalate the entire conflict and expose it to the greatest adventure in risk management that the world will ever get to see?
Some advice to Israelis and Palestinians, but probably something they know and do already.
Live dangerously; it can often make all the difference.